capital of Angola's northwestern Zaire Province

M'banza-Kongo is a city of 175,000 in Northern Angola, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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The shorter way to get into M'banza-Kongo from DRC is via Lufu/Luvo land port. However as of 2023 November travelers have reported corrupt Angolese border police gives travelers trouble by demanding bribe and denying entry otherwise.

So consider using Matadi -> Noqui border point -> Mepala route as an alternative when getting into Angola.

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The city and its cultural landscape of both precolonial and colonial has been designated a World Heritage Site. While many buildings were ruined in the Angolan Civil War, some historic sights remain.

  • 1 Ruins of Cathedral of the Holy Saviour of Congo. Oldest church in sub-Saharan Africa outside of Ethiopia, built in 1549. The present-day church, called São Salvador, known locally as nkulumbimbi, is said to have been built by angels overnight. It was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1596. Pope John Paul II visited the site during his tour of Angola in 1992.    
  • Memorial to the mother of King Afonso I of Kongo near the airport. It commemorates a popular legend that began in the 1680s that the king had buried his mother alive because she was not willing to give up an "idol" which she wore around her neck.
  • The Jalankuwo, the Manikongo's judgement tree, can still be found in the downtown area of the city, along with sunguilu, a rectangular ground level structure where local tradition says the king's body was washed before burial, both on the grounds of the royal palace and present day Royal Museum.
  • The Royal Museum, rebuilt as a modern structure, houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the old Kingdom, even though many were lost from the older building during the Civil War of 1976–2002.

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  • 1 iu Hotel M'banza Congo, Rua 11 de Novembro, Bairro Nfuma, M'banza-Kongo, Angola, +244929102274. Seems to have about the best ratings of any in the area. Restaurant and clean appearance.

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